Found videos from 1999

Resting bitch face, actual cows, a red room, Catholic guilt, a scenic boat trip, forecourt drama, romantic Venice, an outdoor TV and and pre-millennium tension.
Continue reading Found videos from 1999

Weta “Got the Ju”

1999-weta-got-the-juAs with all the other Weta videos on YouTube, this one is short. It’s the last one minute and 28 seconds of the “Got the Ju” video, but that’s ok.

Like a lot of people, the first time I heard the song, I thought the chorus was controversially exclaiming “Got the Jew! Got the Jew!” But it turns out it’s slang – either short for juice or juju, depending on who you ask. And yes, this is what 90% of the YouTube comments are about.

It’s nice a nice, positive rock tune and the video doesn’t go any deeper than that. The video is directed by Reuben Sutherland who had previous worked with Weta pals Shihad. Unlike the previous videos that were a bit more high concept, this one is simple black and white concert footage.

The concert is somewhere in central Auckland – and the Sky Tower really makes it easy to positively identify Auckland settings. It looks like Aotea Square, or somewhere around that area. It’s a decent crowd and Weta appear to be goin’ off. It reminds me of seeing Aaron Tokona’s new project A Hori Buzz at Homegrown earlier this year. It was crazier, the audience was smaller, but there was the same sense of stagecraft. This is a band that knows how to perform.

Sadly this was the final NZOA funded video for Weta. Their next single “Calling On” had the mighty wallet of Warner behind it, intended as a vehicle to launch Weta in Australia. Except the band broke up, splintering in some rather interesting directions, which we’ll get to when the late ’00s roll around.

Best bit: the rock pose silhouette against the distant Sky Tower.

Director: Reuben Sutherland
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… moody delights.

Tim Finn “Underwater Mountain”

1999-tim-finn-underwater-mountainSigns point to this video not actually having NZOA funding. It’s not on the definitive completed videos list and there are no NZOA logos in the video. But it was on the original funding list from December 1999 and I like it so here it is.

The video is directed by Matt Heath and Chris Stapp, just before their legendary TV2 series “Back of the Y Masterpiece Television”. Possibly inspired by the 1999 film “Office Space”, “Underwater Mountain” tells the tale of a disgruntled office worker. Tim Finn is absent, with the video being a mix of animation and a few subtle live-action elements.

We meet our hero staring at a frozen progress bar on his PC. Oh, nothing changes. Surrounded by stacks of paperwork, his one inspiration is the tropical island featured with May on is wall calendar. There’s a brilliant orange sunset and a lone palm atop his own personal Bali Hai.

He ends up freaking out in his cubical, hurling his troublesome PC about. This results in his boss being decapitated (yay!), the PC cord wrapping itself around his leg and dragging him out the window (boo!) and a sexy lady co-worker grabbing his hand to come along for the ride (yay!).

Down they go, falling into a sewer, then into a polluted waterway. There our hero discovers the skeletal remains of other disgruntled workers and their PCs. Inspired, he crawls back up to the surface where he discovers his Bali Hai – a giant pile of rusting, rotting trash. He climbs it and finds his lady friend at the top. They sit and watch the tropical-like polluted sunset. Aww.

“Carl Jung would tell you that this song is truer than most folks can recognize,” says YouTube commenter mahajohn. I would say the same about the video.

Best bit: the upside-down freefall kiss – so much better than Spider-Man.

Directors: Matt Heath, Chris Stapp

Next… juice box.

The Feelers “World Away”

1999-the-feelers-world-awayHere’s a video in a nutshell: the Feelers perform the song “World Away” live in Helen Young Studio while a camera crew film them. And that’s it.

It’s a curious thing. The concept seems like it should be fairly interesting at a bare minimum, but it’s strangely dull. There’s no magic, no buzz, no showbiz. It’s literally just four guys in a recording studio performing a song.

I think the set-up is part of the problem. It’s a band and a film crew crammed into a recording studio. Everyone has to stay in their own space to avoid messing up the playing or the recording. So the Feelers are rooted to the spot, daring not to move too much. The camera crew is likewise hiding in corners or sliding back and forth on a dolly track.

Whatever you think about the music of the Feelers, they usually make pretty entertaining music videos. But the “World Away” video feels like it’s gone to great lengths to show us a side of the rock experience that bands don’t normally make public. It’s the dull routine of recording a song in a studio. There’s none of the vibrant live energy we saw in their “Pull the Strings” video. It’s kind of boring.

But here’s the funny thing. This song reached number nine in the pop charts, making it one of the Feelers most successful singles. Perhaps this video shows a side of the band that very much appeals to its fans.

Best bit: the random arty out-of-focus camera shots.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… deep sea skiving.

Salmonella Dub “Johnny”

1999-salmonella-dub-johnnySalmonella ditch the barbecue and get all film noir with the “Johnny” video. When we meet Johnny, he’s either having a terrible dream or undergoing brainwashing. Either way, the Salmonella Dub eye logo is emblazoned on his chest, and he’s just woken up to find himself at the corporate HQ of Salmonella Dub, Inc.

The band suspiciously eye this dodgy looking fellow who had ended up in their highrise Auckland boardroom. He’s given a package and ends up going to a night club. There he encounters a femme fatale who is all seductive glances and hair. There’s also tense conversations with goons involving guns, the mysterious package and eyebrows.

The femme fatale seduces Johnny. She has a cigarette, but it turns out to be the same variety that the Penguin smoked on Batman. She blows a poisonous gas in his face, knocking him out.

Johnny wakes up and discovered he’s in the back of a convertible, travelling on a scenic bush road. He leaps out of the car, but the goons are soon on his trail. Deep into the bush he runs, eventually coming across a dam. There’s gunfire (crikey!) and Johnny commandeers the abseiling set-up of a nearby DOC worker and sets off down the dam.

There’s a tense 14-second gap where Johnny stands at the edge of the dam. Is he gonna jump? No, he’s going to climb down with the abseiling ropes. The chasing thug pulls at the ropes before strapping himself onto a second rope, chasing after Johnny.

This results in one of the greatest, most ambitious scenes in a New Zealand music video: a choreographed fight between two men on abseiling ropes, halfway down a dam. As far as ridiculous yet awesome cinematic things involving dams, it is second only to the opening scenes of “GoldenEye”.

At the bottom of the dam, the femme fatale awaits, smashing him with her gun. The goons have the package and they reveal it to Johnny. It’s… a snack-size pizza box with the Salmonella Dub logo painted inside it. Wait, what? Someone needs to teach the Dub what a MacGuffin is.

Best bit: the mid-’90s retro Tarantino vibe.



Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… can you feel the claustrophobia?

Rubicon “The Captain”

1999-rubicon-the-captainOh, Rubicon! At the time they seemed quite silly. A punk-pop band fronted by Marshall from “Shortland Street”, with a bass player who had a Helen Clark haircut and a guitarist with braided pigtails. But yeah, they were young and silly and just being dudes in their early 20s, jumping around and having fun.

“The Captain” was their first single and it’s lyrically a bit bleaker than their later singles. “I am the captain of this ship,” sneers singer Paul. “And I think that life’s a gyp!” Steady on, dude!

But the video is determined to cheer things up. It starts with the pyjama-clad band snoozing in bed together. A smiley face alarm clock rings and they quickly grab their surfboards and head off to the beach to partake in some (green screen) surfing.

Next is a boxing/wrestling match between Rubicon and the Badguys, a trio of goons wearing clown masks. Rubicon are wearing netball uniforms with G, J and P on their bibs – first name initials rather than court positions. The lads successfully kick the arse of the Badguys. Yeah, I really like the symbolism of this comedic battle representing the struggles of life itself.

I’m not much of a fan of the Rubicon logo. It’s everywhere in the video and it looks like the sort of thing that small businesses had in the ’90s, designed in MS Paint. But I reckon this is the first video where a band has not only featured its logo in the video, but put it all over the video.

All that’s left is for Rubicon to rock out, giving an energetic performance in front of an appreciative audience, including crowd surfing. And so dawns the age of teen pop punk.

Best bit: the band’s Monkees-like living arrangements.

Director: Ian McCarroll
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Mr Kiss Kiss Dub Dub

King Kapisi “Screems from da Old Plantation”

1999-king-kapisi-screems-from-da-old-plantationThis video feels like Samoa. The cloudy skies laden with moisture, the packed buses, cute kids, majestic waterfalls and coconuts to show you.

It’s directed by Joe Lonie and it’s easily one of the best videos he’s directed, rightly winning Best Video at the 2001 bNet Music Awards. While there are traces of the trademark Lonie gimmick style, it’s much richer and more human than his other videos.

For much of the video King Kapisi is hooning around on the back of a truck. It’s reminiscent of Lonie’s video for Eye TV where they perform the song “Dynamite” on the back of a truck while going up One Tree Hill. In that video the location didn’t really have anything to do with the song, but in “Screems” there’s a very strong connection. The song is all about Samoa, as is the location. And a historical bonus – the video shows vehicles driving on the right-hand side of the road, before Samoa’s 2009 switch to the left.

But going back a bit, the video starts with King Kapisi and his DJ doing a broadcast in a local radio station. People around the island tune in on their boomboxes – little kids showering, a man scraping out a coconut, a dude hanging outside a fale with more little kids. Everywhere the song is heard, it makes people happy. And as the NZ On Screen description notes, it’s taking the hip hop video away from its predictable inner-city setting and taking it to scenes of domestic life on a Pacific island.

The “Screems” video is also notable for featuring product placement, the first I can remember seeing in an NZOA video. The product in question is King Kapisi’s own Overstayer brand t-shirts, reclaiming the term as a badge of honour. (And King Kapisi, Teremoana Rapley and their kids still make Overstayer clothing).

There’s something very perfect about this video. Everything just comes together and it doesn’t just just look good, it feels good.

Best bit: the bus following the truck, hazard light flashing.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… aye aye, cap’n.

Eye TV “One Day Ahead”

1999-eye-tv-one-day-aheadEye TV go for a simple performance-based video for “One Day Ahead”. They’re playing on stage at a theatre but with their backs to the empty auditorium. The video has been shot with the song sped up and then slowed down in edit, giving the everything a dreamy feel.

The video was directed by Greg Page and it shows his strength – capturing a band’s live energy. The sped-up/slowed-down trick has a nice side effect – because miming to a Chipmunk version of your song is kind of silly, the band all look genuinely happy, something that’s hard to achieve in a video.

I need to comment on lead singer Sean’s hair. It’s starkly bleached blonde. Now, I know this look was fashionable in the ’90s. Nathan from Zed did it. Even Justin Timberlake once did his hair like this. But looking at it now in the ’10s, it seems like peacocking, a practise used in the “pick-up artist” community where a man uses outlandish dress to get the attention of unsuspecting women. So, hey ladies, check this out – bleach blonde hair, hoop earrings and… a soulful, uplifting pop song.

But the video isn’t trying to get in anyone’s pants and so doesn’t let Sean’s hair take over. The song has a Manic Street Preachers sound and the video generally keeps things pretty low key. There’s one moment of wildness, though. In the middle of the song the slow-down action gets crazy, looking like they did one take totally over the top. Drums are thrashed, the keyboard teeters, and rockstar leaps are made.

The song ends by fading out and the video ends with a close-up of someone’s foot twisting to the beat, implying that the song is going on forever.

Best bit: the keyboard player’s internal struggle between wanting to have a bad-ass rock star freak out but not actually wanting his keyboard to smash on the floor.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… tasi, lua, tolu, fa.

Deep Obsession “You Got The Feeling”

1999-deep-obsession-you-got-the-feelingWith the previous two Deep Obsession videos both being set in a strange sci-fi/fantasy world, it’s refreshing to discover this video is set in the real world. Well, kind of.

“You Got The Feeling” is based in the comfortingly ordinary environment in a motel. YouTube uploader NZLutz notes it was “the then already closed Blue Dolphin Motel in Parnell, Auckland”. In a room, a shaggy-haired cleaner vacuums the room. He spies a hand-held film camera on a bed and takes a look through the viewfinder. Whoa! When he looks through the camera, he sees a party taking place in that very room. See, they couldn’t just make a video set in the real world.

This cool toy is way more interesting than vacuuming a boring floor! Work duties aborted, the cleaner spends his time looking at the Deep Obsession party taking place via the camera. It’s not just Zara and Vanessa larging it; they’re joined by dozens of really good looking people.

The cleaner follows the party out to the patio where some formation dancing happens. It’s reminiscent of the dancing in Britney Spears “… Baby One More Time” video crossed with a Les Mills class, all halterneck belly tops and bootleg trousers.

The party movies to the pool and another motel staffer discovers the cleaner pervily lurking around the pool. What would happen if he took the camera with him to other places, like the supermarket? Would he discover a disco in the cat food aisle, or a lone hot person trying to figure out which is the right rice for risotto.

The motel boss has noticed that the cleaner has been neglecting his work and yells at him, which is totally understandable. But the cleaner has seen the good life. He wants more. Thinking outside the square, the cleaner turns the camera on himself and finds himself inside the party. Woo!

But what’s going to happen when the party ends? Who’ll clean up the mess?

Best bit: the random partygoing dude wearing a sheer shirt that reveals his man-nipples.

Director: Jesse Warn
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… slo-mo no-go rock show.

Missing videos from 1999

February 1999

Bailter Space “So Am I”

“So Am I” was Bailter Space’s final NZOA-funded video from the ’90s. They took a break and showed up again in 2012.

Cabbage Bomber “You’re a Sun”

Cabbage Bomber included Mark Petersen who had previously replaced Andrew Brough in Straitjacket Fits. Their first single was “You’re A Sun”, extravagantly described by Kiwihits as “an unashamedly melodic slice of guitar pop, laden with hooks and harmonies.”

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

D-Faction “Take a Little Piece”

After having all their videos online, it’s sad that D-Faction’s final video, “Take a Little Piece” isn’t around. YouTube uploader slydogmania notes the group “disbanded in late 1997 before this final single was ever released”

Head Like a Hole “Hot Sexy Lusty”

Head Like A Hole have “Hot Sexy Lusty”, another single from their sex album, Are You Gonna Kiss It Or Shoot It? Guys, in googling for this video, I saw things I wish I hadn’t seen.

Mika “Angel”

Mika, last seen in Jan Hellriegel’s “Geraldine” video, has his own single “Taniwha Angel”. Here’s a live performance.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1999

Brett Sawyer “When It Happens”

Brett Sawyer has the song “When It Happens”. I’m most interested to discover that he and Pearl Runga sang New Zealand’s official millennium anthem, “I’ll Meet You There”, written by sister Bic and James Hall.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Delta “Slather”

Delta! “Slather”! I saw them play a few times and I happily bought the “Slather” single. It was a fun burst of pop that should at least have enjoyed one-hit wonder success. But anyway, here’s Delta performing the song at a 2010 reunion show. Nice one.

Director: Garth Maxwell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Angel”

Girl group Ma-V-Elle had lost a member (but weren’t renamed V-Elle). “Angel” was the first single from their new album as a duo. Here’s a Tangata Pasifika profile of the group enjoying their early days of success.

Strong Islanders “Shining On”

Kiwihits notes that Jonah Lomu’s cousin is in “Strong Islanders”. Their song “Shining On” is ok, but their main MC has a somewhat lacklustre delivery.

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1999

Ardijah “Do To You”

There’s no shortage of Ardijah videos from the ’80s, but the ’90s are AWOL, including “Do To You”.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Never Say Goodbye”

Ominous foreshadowing! “Never Say Goodbye” was Ma-V-Elle’s penultimate funded video.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Trip To The Moon “Sexual Healing”

The final NZOA-funded video for Trip to the Moon is their cover of “Sexual Healing”, a duet by Bobbylon and the ethereally voiced Rachel Weatherly. NZ Herald reviewer Russell Baillie dramatically described it as having “all the charm of a lavish STD-treatment jingle”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1999

3 The Hard Way “Front Back Side”

Well, I dunno. This song is on the list of videos that were completed, but I can’t find any sign of a 3 The Hard Way single called “Front Back Side”, or indeed any releases from this time. But there might have been some shuffling – there’s a 3 The Hard Way video for their 2004 single “Girls”. It’s set in the same sexy club world as “It’s On (Move to This”), only it’s so much cheesier.

Bike “Gaze”

Bike’s final NZOA-funded single is “Gaze”, which also appeared on the “Scarfies” soundtrack.

Brett Sawyer “Where We Wanna Be”

“Where We Wanna Be” is Brett Sawyer’s ode to his partner for sticking out a decade in Britain with him.

Delta “The Baddest”

Delta’s second single was “The Baddest”. It’s ok, but it’s not “Slather”. Here’s a live performance from their 2010 reunion gig.

Fiona McDonald “Wish I Was a Man”

Fiona McDonald gets dirty and grungy with “Wish I Was A Man”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moizna “Summer Goodbye”

Moizna’s final NZ On Air-funded video is aptly titled “Summer Goodbye”, a sweet tale of a break-up.

Satellite Spies “Please Never Leave”

Satellite Spies apparently had a song called “Please Never Leave”, but it’s ungooglable.

TrueBliss “Freedom”

TrueBliss’s third single was a cover of the Wham song “Freedom”. I’ve found an 2001 Australian documentary about the “Popstars” phenomena that shows a short clip from “Freedom” at 8:01. It features the group dressed in red, white and blue costumes, performing on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1999

DNE “Be There”

DNE was a “cyber collaboration” between Aly Cook and David Horizon – their name for the now commonplace practice of online collaboration. Their old bio at Amplifier promised a fabulous web experience with “CLUBDNE interactive”, and directed viewers to NZmusic.com to watch their video for “Be There”. Sadly all is but a cyber memory now.

Greg Johnson “Beautiful Storm”

Greg Johnson gets drench in meteorological metaphors with the upbeat “Beautiful Storm”. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Greg Johnson tours an Asian city and sings “Beautiful Storm” to camera as the surroundings move rapidly around him.”

Director: Bernadine Lim
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Don’t Be So Shy”

Ma-V-Elle have “Don’t Be So Shy”, described by the Kiwi Hit Disk as a “cool slice of original, soulful pop”. It’s the final Ma-V-Elle track funded by NZOA. The duo was to eventually disband, with Lavina ending up in the Australian Idol final 12 in 2006, among other achievements.

December 1999

Ardijah “Way Around You”

I’m pretty used to Ardijah videos not being online, and indeed “Way Around You” isn’t available.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Breathe “Sick & Tired”

“Sick & Tired” is another track from Breathe’s second album, the one that seemed really big at the time, but has now faded into history.

Fiona McDonald “Bury Me”

Described in a review I found on a vintage website as a “edgy, emotionally charged” song, “Bury Me” is another single from Fiona McDonald.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Garageland “Good Luck”

Garageland have the blusey “Good Luck”, another track off their second album “Do What You Want”.

The D4 “Come On!”

Another early track from The D4. “Come On!” is an typical piece of energetic rock. Here’s a fan video, setting the song to clips of rally cars sliding around corners.

Director: Alex Johnson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Big World Out Your Window”

“Big World Out Your Window” was the final Exponents track funded by NZOA. It was a single off their 1999 album “Hello, Love You, Goodbye”, a half-studio, half-live collection. There’s no sign of the “Window” vid, but I do know it was filmed on Mt Eden.

Director: Andrew Moore

Instead…

Here’s a video from the world of non-NZOA funding. Director Marc Swadel made the “Crystal Chain” video for Flying Nun group The Subliminals for “300 bucks and one re-used 100 foot reel of 16mm film”. As a NZ On Screen commenter notes, 100ft of film is only two minutes, 45 seconds. The solution? “A lot of repeats, keying over footage with footage, and other lo fi tricks”. It’s a moody delight.

Director: Marc Swadel
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision